The latest regulation restrictions upon Formula 1 reflect a post-pandemic reality, but the underlying issue has been staring it in the face for years. As F1 readjusts itself to this new reality, might it be the beginning of a return to a non- automotive manufacturer future?
The FIA has enshrined both a reduced cost cap and a sliding-scale wind tunnel/ CFD restriction into the F1 regulations, starting next year. The COVID-19 pandemic has given extra impetus, but F1 was already heading in this direction, facing the consequences of the stark difference of scale between automotive team spends and those of the independents in an already economically challenging time.
This mismatch is not new, but the concurrent contraction of the global economy post-2008 and the severe payment imbalance between top teams and the others (in force since the 2013 Concorde Agreement), made the situation untenable.